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I’ve spent the better part of a day trying to decide what to say, and if I wanted to say anything at all. I am still struggling with that, but I decided it was better for my mental health if I just started to type and see what came out. After all, that’s how I started getting into this in the first place when I started my first sports Nationals blog in 2010. What’s below are the ramblings of an incoherent person, one still feeling a wide range of emotions related to the Washington Nationals latest NLDS debacle, another baseball season gone by, and many years of closely following this team.
I am angry. It’s a ridiculous thing to be angry right now for a lot of reasons. I logically know this. The world has bigger problems than the Nats, once again, shitting the bed in the postseason and letting us all down for the fourth time in six years. But I am still irrationally fucking angry. I’m not mad at the players; it’s not like they weren’t trying. The same goes for Dusty Baker and the coaching staff and for Mike Rizzo and his front office. Everyone did the best they could. They are talented athletes and teachers and executives, as proven by the 97 wins they put up during the six-month long regular season.
But I am still so, so fucking angry. I haven’t been able to figure out why yet. I haven’t figured out why my rage at the situation caused me to leave my house in the sixth inning of Game Five and take my dog on a very, very long walk, only to come back inside and decide it would be better to go back outside and just sit and tune the game out. It wasn’t that I was sure of the result to come. I wasn’t. I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I tuned back in for the final six outs of the game (Sean Doolittle was predictably impressive), and then I deleted Twitter from my devices and went to bed.
While I am not angry with anyone inside the organization today, I sure am angry at a lot of narrative-feeding assholes out there. People who say the Nats are cursed, or that DC sports are destined for perpetual failure, or any of those other ridiculous things. Fuck you and your unenlightened, tired bullshit. It is just sports. There are no curses. One team beat another team over five games. Some day, the Nationals will do that, too. That is how it always works, and it probably will happen in the season we *don’t* expect it, not the one where we do.
With emotions in the Nats universe existing in a lot of states for a lot of people right now, ranging from sadness to indifference to anger to frustration to whatever else there is out there, I’m trying to not overreact. After all, I am the person who regularly says that people should enjoy the ride and that a 97 win season isn’t nothing, even if the postseason sucks. Well, this postseason sucked. I thought the Nats were going to make the World Series. I thought Cleveland was, too. Sometimes, nay often, the best teams don’t make it.
I’m not going to make some blanket statement today that I am done with baseball. That would be absurd. Hell, I’m probably going to sit on my couch and play MLB The Show tonight. But I’m also not sure I can continue to consume sports the way I have for the last several years. It’s not the 2017 Nationals’ fault, but it probably was the catalyst to make me recognize that I need to reserve such anger and frustration for bigger things than a postseason run. Maybe that does mean I need to consume sports differently than I have been. I’m not sure, but I’m going to spend a whole lot of time pondering that between now and February.
Finally, I do want to encourage everyone reading this to do one thing. Reject the tired narratives. It’s way, way too easy to look and say “DC sports suck, they don’t want it enough.” That’s bullshit, and if you have a logical bone in your body, you should know that’s true. Life isn’t that simple. Don’t be so lazy that you accept that as fact. It’s okay to be irrationally angry and frustrated while at the same time avoiding your inclination to be Chicken Little. I hope you succeed in doing so.
I don’t have a good way to end this, because it originally started as just a way for me to get all the frustration and anger out of my head, and then people asked me to post my thoughts. Well, these are my thoughts.
I hope it helped you to read them like it helped me to write them. I hope you are able to quickly find your peace after another gut- and heart-wrenching postseason series. I hope that some day soon, the day after the NLDS ends, this blog will host a celebratory piece, not one that sounds like this. Enjoy your offseason. We’re here for your baseball fix when you’re ready again.Tags: Dusty Baker, Mike Rizzo, narratives, Nats, Washington Nationals